In the Upstate, we are fortunate to have an abundance of fall activities to enjoy. Instead of the usual haunted houses and pumpkins patches for Halloween, consider a hayride. These family-friendly romps in the hay—pulled by horse, tractor or other mode of transportation—are a perfect Halloween outing.
Here are a few to check out:
Denver Downs, Anderson
Denver Downs operates one of the largest corn mazes and pumpkin patches in the Southeastern United States. Hayrides will take visitors around the corn maze, pumpkin patch, and farm.
New this year is a haunted hayride, Harvest of Horror, which includes a haunted house, haunted hotel, and tormented trail attraction.
Where: 1515 Denver Road
When: Sep 25 thru Nov 1. Thursdays, 5 p.m.–11 p.m.; Fridays, 5 p.m.–midnight; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–midnight; Sundays 1 p.m.–11 p.m. Special Hours on Fri., Oct. 16, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, 2 p.m.–midnight.
Darkness Pines, Anderson
Okay, so this one isn’t necessarily family-friendly as it touts itself as one of the “scariest, longest, and goriest haunted attractions you will ever go to.” But it’s worth checking out if you’re into things that go bump in the night. It’s a ten-acre “entertainment complex,” featuring a haunted trail and haunted hayride, as well as an outdoor theater screen to watch and help set the mood while waiting to enter the trail.
Where: 1437 SC Hwy 413
When: Thru Oct. 31. Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.– midnight
Berry Acres, Anderson
Hayrides, corn maze, pumpkin patch, and more
Where: 230 Strawberry Road
When: Sept 26 thru Nov 7. Fridays, 4:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1 p.m.–6 p.m.
Stewart Farms, Laurens County
A working family farm, Stewart Farms offers 50-minute peaceful wagon rides around the farm while searching for scarecrows and pumpkins. The farm also features a seven-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other activities.
Where: 6600 Highway 92, Enoree
When: Sep 26 thru Nov 1. Fridays, 4 p.m.–10 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sundays 1 p.m.–8 p.m.
Nivens Apple Farm, Spartanburg County
A mainstay in Spartanburg since 1974, Nivens Apple Farm announced that 2015 will be its final season as the owners are retiring.
Hayrides take visitors through the apple orchard with a guide who will explain how the apples grow and the basics of the farm. You will then enter the Storybook Character Trail, where you will revisit your favorite classic nursery rhymes. The hayride continues around the lake, then back to the orchard.
On October 17, Nivens Farm will feature its 2015 Nivens Pumpkin Fest from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. In addition to usual weekend activities, the farm will have a pumpkin carving contest, live music, hayrides, pumpkin picking, and more.
Where: 130 Orchard Drive, Moore
When: Prime season hours; Mondays thru Saturdays, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sundays 1 p.m.–6 p.m.
Mini Miracles Farm, Taylors
Mini Miracles Farm in Taylors offers hay rides, an animal education station, pumpkin patch, and a children's play area. Hay rides last approximately 20 minutes and leave every 45 minutes, weather permitting.
Where: 708 Old Rutherford Road
When: Thru Oct. 31. Mon, Tues 1 p.m.–6 p.m.; Wed.-closed; Thursdays 1 p.m.–7 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
Strawberry Hill USA, Spartanburg County
Publicized as “a good old fashioned family tradition,” the tractor-drawn hayride offers a hands-on farm tour where visitors can cross the Famous Troll Bridge to Meet Mr. Troll and His Farm Animals, pick-a-pie pumpkin and participate in “Cow Feedin’, Tire Swingin’, & Rope Climbin’.”
Where: 3097 Highway 11 Chesnee
When: Thru Nov. 1. Saturdays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sundays 12 p.m.–5 p.m. (Nov. 1 closes at 4 p.m.)
Please contact each venue to confirm hours, weather-related cancellations, pricing, and other detailed information.
Sherry Jackson is a Greenville-based writer covering travel, technology, real estate, business and many other topics. For examples of some of her work, visit www.dragonflyventures.com.